I am a postal thief

In the category of "What's Wrong with this Picture?", I nominate the following bad example of government run programs: It's funny because I just got through remarking to my dh how much improved the US Postal Service has been in the last several years, but I had forgotten about the USPS website where you can "Click n Ship."  I have had so many problems with their website not allowing me to sign on, not letting me ship internationally from the site, going down in the middle of a transaction, timing me out before I got all my labels printed...you name it! The reason I forgot is because several months ago, when the government in it's infinite insanity decided to penalize small business owners by requiring many of us to test each batch of product for lead and other things (see CPSIA laws), we had decided NOT to produce any more hard copy studies.  Postage had been going up several times a year too so it became a ridiculous juggling act to keep up with the hikes, let alone the ENORMOUS increase in postage prices for our international customers! So I'm trying to ship two boxes of winter necessities to my college girl, who forgot them at home during the summer, when I can't seem to find the particular Priority Mail box I have as one of the choices on their website.  They change things so often and their site is very difficult to navigate.  I could only find one box the shape of the one I have but the price doesn't make sense to me.  I got out and back into their website about 3x to make sure it wasn't some sort of website glitch, but that was the only one I found.  None of the other Priority Mail boxes are that shape so... I finished the transaction, paid, got a confirmation and printed the labels.  Off I ran to the local mail place to get these out to my poor dd who had been freezing prior to Labor Day. Later that night, I received an email from the USPS website that said that the order was canceled and that the labels were not valid.  Well gee willakers, Uncle Sam, thanks for letting me know AFTER I dropped them off!... and you captured the money from my credit card!!  So I figured that as soon as they scanned the label, they would figure out it wasn't valid, they would return it to me for insufficient postage.  (Still don't know why the transaction was canceled but ours is not to reason why!) A few days later I get a phone call from my dd who says the packages arrived!  WHAT?!!  I said, "Are they postage due?" and she said NO!  So, logically, I figured that they would take the money they captured from my credit card after all, right?  WRONG!  Yes the money is still captured, but here's what the United States Post Office did instead: They sent me two more emails the following day telling me that I owed them for the postage and accused me of  FRAUD!!!
"It is unlawful to intentionally use any label that has been voided or refunded to ship a package through the U.S. Postal Service, or to duplicate a label for reuse."
THEY canceled the transaction...AFTER I had already received a confirmation and took it to be shipped!  THEY still had my money captured and now they want me to pay them again and are calling me UNLAWFUL?   I don't think so! I followed their instructions to pay for the postage AGAIN and I am waiting to see if they give me my other funds back.  I, then, wrote a formal complaint to the USPS.  I seriously doubt I'll ever hear back from them and I am disinclined to use their website anymore.  I guess that's why UPS is so popular.  I'd send them a free copy of my book, Say What You Mean When You're in Business, but I doubt anyone would read it. And they want to run health care? A public service announcement from the folks at Art of Eloquence.com *NOTE* I am closing the comments on this blogpost due to HUNDREDS of SPAM messages I receive per day which are picking up on the SEO of these key words.


  • jojosblog

    Thanks Becky Joie.
    I feel that those who handle the mail do a fabulous job. My dh and I were just talking about that the other day as I stated in the original post. They may not be able to guarantee that ever piece of mail will reach its destination exactly on time but I have never in long recent history had a problem with any piece of mail I have had go out and I have used it a LOT! Considering the volume they do, that is an amazing accomplishment!

    I will continue using the USPS, but I will NOT use the website to “Click N Ship” ever again. The website is very poorly run and I have had nothing but problems with it for the last several years. It’s just going to be a royal pain to travel so far just to mail one little package to my college dd.

    I have tried to find info on who owns the Postal Service but I am unable to. I found several entries in Wikipedia that say it is government owned. I found a few Wiki Answers that say it is an “independent establishment of the executive branch” of the United States Government (see 39 U.S.C. § 201)" and that it is a “quasi government agency” which is “wholly owned by the government and controlled by the Presidential appointees and the Postmaster General.” having “many special privileges, including sovereign immunity, eminent domain powers, powers to negotiate postal treaties with foreign nations, and an exclusive legal right to deliver first-class and third-class mail.”

    I tried to find the information on the USPS.com site but was unable to locate it. Can you direct me?

    Lady Hawk, I do have an update but I’m afraid there is no resolution. I received an email from a USPS representative who didn’t read my complaint very closely. He directed me to pay the amount due which I had already said I did. He told me that I must have canceled the transaction instead of clicking “yes” (meaning the postage had printed correctly). However I had already told him that I did not cancel the transaction and had received a confirmation afterward that it went through correctly. Then he told me that in order to get my money back I had to request a refund along with various paperwork proving I was deserving. My understanding was that when they captured funds and didn’t take the money (transaction was canceled) the money is automatically returned in 10 days or so.

    I emailed him back pointing out these issues and he emailed me back again saying he was escalating the matter.

    It is very common, yet frustrating, for customer service reps (I was one for 7 years) not to thoroughly read through an email and answer the wrong issue or point the customer to the wrong resolution. Many times the rep merely emails back a standard form answer without reading the complaint at all, but I don’t believe this is what happened in this case. The response was more specific and thoughtful but it was not an answer to the issues I raised.

    I doubt I will ever hear back. While I commend the individuals who handle the mail, I still think this site is run very poorly. I also think the response to this type of glitch could have been worded more carefully so as not to have called me unlawful and accuse me of fraud.

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